Who is Fräulein Rottenmeier? She is a housekeeper or a governess in Heidi by Johanna Spyri. What is her occupation exactly? I don’t know about it because I haven’t read the original but I did just as a child book in Japanese translation in my childhood.
When first I read it, for me i.e. for a very young, Fräulein Rottenmeier was a scary-looking old woman. She played the bad guy in the novel. But now, as I look at her with an adult eye, I find she is not scary and bad, not even old. Actually, she is a strict and inflexible person and cares about her master’s family, as a result she treats Heidi harshly, but she is not a bad guy. She is, that is to say, not an employer but an employee. If she were Herr Sesemann or Frau Sesemann, she could have another way Heidi treats.
The role of Rottenmeier in the novel reminds me of a scene of “The Aspired Wings(図南の翼)”. At the scene Gankyū(頑丘) asks Rikō(利広) why he is looking and helping for ShuShō(珠晶) after a long time.
The relationship of an employer and an employee somewhat resembles the relationship of Ruler and ordinary people. The below is my translation of the scene.
“Stupidly ShuShō(珠晶) quarrelled with Gankyū(頑丘) and followed Kiwa(季和).”
“Is that stupid?”
“Yes, of course. If ShuShō(珠晶) becomes a ruler(王), she shouldn’t have quarrelled with Shu-shi(朱氏) at that moment. Because the security of the ruler(王) has priority the security of any other people.”
“The claim is so absurd.”
“But it is true for the world where people want a Ruler(王). You and the others reacted coolly to Kiwa(季和)’s actions that were the desertion of his servants, but, it was right if Kiwa(季和) becomes a ruler(王). The life of the ruler(王) cannot be changed for the lives of a hundred or more of people. The ruler(王) has responsibility to the security of three million of people.”
“I feel sick.”
“Really? I think it is the same as Gō-shi(剛氏) protecting the master. The sacrifice of other people cannot be helped due to protecting the master. The reason of the world where people want a Ruler(王) is very similar to this. — Now, the country Kyō(恭) has no ruler(王). So, the sacrifice of a few hundreds of people cannot be helped due to protecting millions of people in the future.”
“It’s a dirty logic.”
Gankyū(頑丘) said in disgust, but Rikō(利広) laughed again.
“Yes, you’re right. But this is the logic of the world where people want a Ruler(王). — And, Ruler(王) must conquer this logic because the ruler(王) governs this world.”
Rikō(利広) got a good chuckle.
“I mean this is the logic of people who are governed by the ruler(王). The Ruler(王) who takes the throne should not be one of them. A Ruler(王) takes the throne because he is the Ruler(王). An ordinary person who takes the throne by chance is not called “Ruler(王)”. Therefore, the Ruler(王) must transcend the logic of people.”
Gankyū(頑丘) held his temple lightly.
“I don’t understand a thing. But……”
“I somehow understand why you are looking for ShuShō(珠晶) after a long time. Because she followed Kiwa(季和), and despite that, she has survived. At the place, the idiots did not go around, the common Gō-shi(剛氏) did go around, and the outstanding Gō-shi(剛氏) did not go around, protected the master and eliminated the Yōma(妖魔).– This is what you said, isn’t it?”
“It’s great examples.”
If you are the common Gō-shi(剛氏), you must go around. Or you turn into an idiot. Each person has each role. We must assess other person’s ability. Fräulein Rottenmeier and Heidi have good masters. So, they can do only own job. For an ordinary person it’s very unhappy that he/she cannot assess the leader’s ability and he/she has no freedom to change his/her leader even if being able to assess the leader’s ability.
The novel “The Aspired Wings(図南の翼) is written from a view of Ruler(王)’s side. So, there aren’t a lot of things about the ordinary people. But when you read it carefully, it’ll bring you such impressions.